After nearly five years of economic crisis, foreclosure, and declining home values, indicators are finally pointing to the beginnings of a housing recovery. Yet this recovery is not occurring in all places at the same speed. An untold number of rural Americans are still struggling after what was the worst economic recession since the 1930s. Even before the crisis, many rural households and communities struggled with housing problems. While much of the country sees a housing rebound, problems of distress remain in rural America longer than elsewhere because of a lack of economic vitality and diversification. To make things more challenging, federal support for affordable housing is under increasing financial pressure and has been diminishing when it is needed the most.
It is clear that HAC’s role as an intermediary organization and lender is more crucial than ever. Despite decreases in federal funding, a still-struggling economy, and a rural housing market undergoing recovery, HAC continues to further its mission of providing safe, secure, and affordable housing across rural America in some of the most distressed regions of the country. Like all nonprofit organizations, we have made adjustments as we face an uncertain political future and harsh economic realities. But we remain committed to working with partner organizations across the nation and to continue providing housing through our loans and grants, training and technical assistance, and research and information.
HAC has learned the importance of continual dialogue with rural housing practitioners who provide us with firsthand accounts of the need that exists in communities across rural America. With their input, we have been able to help create effective policy and programmatic responses to some of the most challenging issues facing rural affordable housing providers.
Through this landscape, HAC strives to create tangible change for the poorest individuals and families in the most rural parts of America. This annual report demonstrates the ways in which HAC continues to help strengthen rural communities during these challenging times. There is still much more to do, and we are proud to work with you to improve housing and lives in your community.